Hurricanes: there’s an app for that

Making sure you’re prepared for a hurricane and keeping safe when it arrives? Yeah, there’s an app (or two) for that.

Technology has made staying up to date a lot easier, and staying on top of severe weather is no different. Here are a few ways you can help keep safe and prepared without spending a dime.

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Weather alerts on your phone

Mobile carriers and government agencies pooled their resources to create Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to warn people of severe weather. The alerts to your phone look just like text messages and are free of charge. You also don’t have to enroll or install an app to get them: as long as your phone is WEA-compatible, you’ll receive text alerts from the National Weather Service1 no matter where you are.


While WEA notifications are helpful, these two apps make preparing (and weathering) hurricanes a lot easier.

Ready Virginia

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management created Ready Virginia, a free mobile app that makes preparing for emergencies easier.

The app offers:

  • Real-time weather and hazard alerts
  • Help to make an emergency plan
  • GPS-enabled evacuation routes
  • Checklist for emergency supplies
  • Push notifications, disaster news, and social media updates

Download at the App Store and on Google Play.

Hurricane by American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has its own Hurricane app that allows users to monitor storms, prepare your family and home, and even let others know you’re safe.

The free app gives users:

  • One-touch “I’m safe” messaging for users to broadcast to friends and family via social media
  • Location-based NOAA weather alerts
  • Monitor personalized weather alerts in other parts of the country where friends and family reside
  • Locate open Red Cross shelters
  • Preparedness checklists and emergency plan creation
  • Preloaded content accessed without a mobile connection
  • Toolkit: flashlight, strobe light, and audible alarm

Here’s a demo of the app in action:

Download it in the App Store and on Google Play.

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  1. You may also get national, state, and local emergency alerts, such as evacuation orders, chemical spills, terrorist threats, etc. 

Photo by: Vincent Lee 

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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